Public-private collaboration underway to improve planning efficiency and consistency across Greater Birmingham
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has held its first event to bring together public and private sector planning and development professionals to improve how the planning system works in practice.
The workshop held on 15 October brought together a cross section of 48 industry professionals including developers, property consultants and local authorities to discuss how the planning application system could be delivered more consistently and efficiently.
Organisations in attendance included seven of the local authorities across the GBSLEP area, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Birmingham Airport, along with property developers IM Properties, Midland City Developments and Dandara, as well as representatives from property consultants including AHR Architects, ARUP, Savills, Colliers International, Turley, Brook Smith Planning, Gleeds, RLB, RISE, KPMG and Willmott Dixon.
The session identified four key areas of improvement: the pre-application process and validation checklists; councillor involvement in the planning process; the post-decision process; and the need for a consistent scheme of delegation.
Guidance on each of these issues will be produced by the GBSLEP, aimed at helping to deliver a more consistent and efficient planning delivery system across the Greater Birmingham area, in conjunction with local planning authorities.
David Meecham, Member of the Optimising Assets Group of the GBSLEP, said: “Creating a business friendly planning system within the Local Enterprise Partnership area is important to the competitiveness of the region and is a priority for the GBSLEP. Planning is an enabler of growth and we recognise that making the system work for everyone holds the key to bringing forward even greater levels of investment in Greater Birmingham.
“This series of events represents a unique opportunity for the public and private sector to come together in a collaborative arena and to work together to produce a better planning delivery system.
“The public and private sectors working together to establish innovative approaches will not only result in real benefits for those in the planning and development profession, but will also support the faster development of housing and commercial land that the Greater Birmingham area needs to realise its ambitions.”
The next workshop in the series will take place on 1 December 2015 to discuss and agree the guidance notes that will have been produced following the first workshop.
If you are a development professional who would like to get involved in this important initiative and help to shape how planning is delivered in our region, then please contact the Chair of the GBSLEP Development Management Group, Robert Eaton at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors
The LEP area has a population of nearly two million people. It covers South Staffordshire (Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield and Tamworth), North Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, Redditch and Wyre Forest), Solihull and Birmingham.
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